by Mary Kathryn Nagle
directed by Molly Smith
Monday, November 20 | 12:30pm
Atlantic Stage 2, Studio A | 330 West 16th Street
Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation’s jurisdiction, must confront the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. With shadows stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson’s Oval Office to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma, Sovereignty asks how high the flames of anger can rise before they ultimately consume the truth.
MARY KATHRYN NAGLE (Playwright) was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She graduated summa cum laude from Tulane Law School where she was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a partner at Pipestem Law P.C., a firm specializing in the restoration of tribal sovereignty and safety for Native women. Her play Manahatta will be produced in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2018 season, and her play Sovereignty will be produced in Arena Stage’s 2017-2018 season. Other recent productions include AMERINDA’s presentation of Miss Lead at 59e59, and Native Voices at the Autry’s production of Fairly Traceable. Nagle is an alum of the 2013 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, and an alum of the Civilians 2014 Research & Development Group. Nagle is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, a program designed to develop Native voices in the American theater and ensure that Native plays reach the American stage.
MOLLY SMITH (Director) has been a leader in new play development for over 30 years and has served as Artistic Director of Arena Stage since 1998. Her most recent directing credits at Arena include Carousel, Oliver!, The Originalist, and Fiddler on the Roof. Her directorial work has also been seen at The Old Globe, Asolo Repertory, The Glimmerglass Festival, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Canada’s Shaw Festival, Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Montreal’s Centaur Theatre and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979-1998. She has worked alongside playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, Lawrence Wright, Karen Zacarías, John Murrell, Eric Coble, Charles Randolph-Wright and many others. She led the re-invention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 120 new plays, produced 39 world premieres, staged numerous second and third productions and been an important part of nurturing nine projects that went on to have a life on Broadway. In 2014, Molly made her Broadway debut directing The Velocity of Autumn, following its critically acclaimed run at Arena Stage.